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“Gregory of Nazianzus on Councils of Bishops”
From Epistle CXXX
Click here to read at earlychurchtexts.com in the original Greek (with dictionary lookup links). The English translation below is from the NPNF series.
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J. A. McGuckin
Gregory of Nazianzus: Images And Reflections
Texts and Translations
For my part, if I am to write the truth, my inclination is to avoid
all assemblies of bishops, because I have never seen any Council come to a good
end, nor turn out to be a solution of evils. On the contrary, it usually
increases them. You always find there love of contention and love of power (I
hope you will not think me a bore, for writing like this), which beggar
description; and, while sitting in judgment on others, a man might well be
convicted of ill-doing himself long before he should put down the ill-doings of
his opponents. So I retired into myself; and came to the conclusion that the
only security for one's soul lies in keeping quiet. Now, moreover, this
determination of mine is supported by ill-health; for I am always on the point
of breathing my last, and am hardly able to employ myself to any effect. I
trust, therefore, that, of your generosity, you will make allowances for me, and
that you will be good enough to persuade our most religious Emperor also not to
condemn me for taking things quietly, but to make allowances for my ill-health.
He knows how it was on this very account that he consented to my retirement,
when I petitioned for this in preference to any other mark of his favour.
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original Greek text
The Futility of Councils of Bishops
Gregory Nazianzen in Greek
Migne Greek Text
Patrologiae Graecae Cursus Completus
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